This Was Supposed to Be a Story About a Bizarre Anti-Vaccine Rally and a Sedated Bear. Then It Got Weird.

“She’s now saying that she intends to appeal the no-bear condition, getting her attorney involved, claiming that our decision is unconstitutional. She actually said that our misuse of power is far more dangerous than a caged bear.”

Source: Gizmodo
Published: Apr 22, 2019
Length: 13 minutes (3,456 words)

I Rode an E-Scooter as Far From Civilization as Its Batteries Could Take Me

These contentious new rentals are both problematic additions to city life and promising alternatives to cars and public transit. One Bay Area resident wanted to see if they could help him escape the city into nature, and to explore the limits of the rental scooters’ abilities.

Author: Joe Veix
Source: Gizmodo
Published: Mar 21, 2019
Length: 7 minutes (1,770 words)

How Cartographers for the U.S. Military Inadvertently Created a House of Horrors in South Africa

John and his mother Ann, who live in a house in Pretoria, South Africa, were two victims of faulty IP address mapping — and the U.S. government played a big role in the mess.

Source: Gizmodo
Published: Jan 9, 2019
Length: 20 minutes (5,156 words)

The Blood Ritual That Lives on YouTube

A controversial cyber-pagan ceremony conjurs issues of self-empowerment, solidarity, and heaven on earth.

Source: Gizmodo
Published: May 15, 2018
Length: 12 minutes (3,194 words)

Amazon’s Last Mile

Who delivers Amazon orders? Increasingly, it’s plainclothes contractors with few labor protections, driving their own cars, competing for shifts on the company’s own Uber-like platform.

Source: Gizmodo
Published: Nov 16, 2017
Length: 17 minutes (4,332 words)

Why Russia’s Heroin Addicts Are Going Through Hell

Russia’s aversion to harm reduction as a strategy to combat drug addiction has led to an HIV epidemic. In Yekaterinburg — the fourth largest city in Russia with a population of 1.5 million people — one in 50 are HIV positive. In Russia, addiction is considered a “moral sickness” and methadone is illegal — “a despised ‘narcoliberal’ idea.” The country has gone so far as to assert that drug addiction and homosexuality are notions imported from the West in a bid to corrupt ‘Russia’s “conservative ideology and traditional values.”’ For those who are suffering, the prospects are grim.

Source: Gizmodo
Published: Nov 4, 2016
Length: 8 minutes (2,117 words)

Princesses, Slaves, and Explosives: The Scandalous Origin of Vaccines

A look into the colorful and globe-hopping history of inoculation.

Source: Gizmodo
Published: Nov 18, 2015
Length: 12 minutes (3,038 words)

The Man Who Fought the Synanon Cult and Won

Paul Morantz helped bring Synanon down—and almost paid with his life. Here, he tells his story to Gizmodo’s Matt Novak.

Author: Matt Novak
Source: Gizmodo
Published: Sep 27, 2014
Length: 29 minutes (7,264 words)

The All-American Expo That Invaded Cold War Russia

“Over the course of six weeks during the height of the Cold War, almost three million Soviets visited an exhibition that celebrated America.” A look back at how it all happened, with help from companies like Pepsi, IBM, Sears and General Motors.

Author: Matt Novak
Source: Gizmodo
Published: Jul 28, 2014
Length: 22 minutes (5,599 words)

Synanon’s Sober Utopia

How a drug rehab program became a violent cult:

In 1970, George Lucas needed dozens of actors with shaved heads for his sci-fi dystopian movie THX 1138. He had trouble filling the roles at first, since so few actresses wanted to cut their locks, but Lucas eventually found the extras he needed in a strange utopian community where everyone worshipped sobriety and expressed solidarity by shaving their heads. It was called Synanon, and over the course of three decades it would become one of the weirdest and most vindictive cults of the 20th century.

Author: Matt Novak
Source: Gizmodo
Published: Apr 17, 2014
Length: 15 minutes (3,900 words)